Cupid’s Contract Part 2: Understanding How Cohabitation Agreements May Impact Present or Future Children

As discussed in my previous blog “Cupid’s Contract Part 1,” many unmarried couples who reside together may choose cohabitation agreements to protect their assets and set financial expectations with their significant other when traditional marriage is not in their cards. While I described the various financial and legal implications of cohabitation agreements, Part 2 addresses how cohabitation agreements can be used to address custody, parenting time, child support, and other issues regarding existing or future shared children.

Cohabitation Agreements Can Plan for Present or Future Children

  • Custody preferences: Outline the desired custody arrangement for any children born or adopted during the relationship, considering factors such as parental involvement, living arrangements, and the child's best interests.
  • Legal and physical custody: Define legal custody (decision-making authority) and physical custody (residential arrangements), specifying whether joint or sole custody is preferred.
  • Parenting plan: Develop a comprehensive parenting plan detailing visitation schedules, holiday arrangements, education decisions, healthcare needs, and other parental responsibilities.

Cohabitation Agreements Can Provide for Child Support and Parenting Time, Ensuring the Best Interests of the Child

  • Child support guidelines: Follow New Jersey's child support guidelines to calculate the appropriate amount of financial support for the child, taking into account each parent's income, expenses, and custody arrangement.
  • Parenting time or visitation schedule: Establish a visitation schedule that allows both parents to maintain meaningful relationships with the child, promoting regular contact and involvement in their upbringing.
  • Modification procedures: Include procedures for modifying child support or custody arrangements in the future, accommodating changes in circumstances such as parental relocation, changes in income, or the child's needs.

Cohabitation Agreements Can Help Avoid Legal Battles

Minimize the potential for disputes and costly litigation in the event of a breakup.

  • Dispute resolution mechanisms: Include provisions for resolving disputes through the collaborative process, mediation, arbitration, or negotiation, minimizing the need for adversarial court proceedings. Learn more about our Collaborative Law services and alternatives to divorce litigation here: Collaborative Law.
  • Clear communication: Encourage open and honest communication between partners to address concerns and resolve conflicts amicably, fostering mutual respect and understanding.
  • Legal guidance: Consult with a qualified family law attorney to ensure the cohabitation agreement is legally enforceable and addresses all relevant issues, reducing the likelihood of legal challenges in the future.

Interested in learning how cohabitation agreements can protect your rights and financial assets? Check out my previous blog “Cupid’s Contract Part 1.”

When cupid’s arrow strikes you and you’re considering moving in with your love, please also consider a cohabitation agreement. While cohabitation agreements are not legally required in New Jersey, they offer valuable protection and peace of mind for unmarried couples. To ensure the effectiveness of the agreement, it’s advisable to consult with a qualified family law attorney who can customize the document to fit your specific needs and circumstances.

Do not hesitate to contact me directly at or at 732-545-4717 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a free initial consultation.